If you’re not a powerlifter, who cares what your one-rep max might be? Or maybe you know your number for a bench press or squat, but you’ve never maxed out on a bent-over row. Does it matter? Yes, and here’s why:
Finding your one-rep max is valuable because it gives you a benchmark. It allows you to consider your maximum capability, then gauge where you want to work within the range between that and your usual 10- to 12-rep weight.
Because surprise! You don’t always have to do eight to 12 reps with a weight. You can do two. Or five. In fact, the best way to gain muscle is to go hard for a short time. You’ll create muscle confusion and cause more micro tears in your muscle, which leads to growth.
Knowing your one-rep max is likely to get you out of your comfort zone. You can work with one of our Max Fitness trainers to spot you as you give bigger weights a go. Or check out this calculator from Bodybuilding.com to estimate your maximum as well as your three-rep max, five-rep max and so on, based on your current routine. Then hit the iron!